Study WNV? We need your help!

Study WNV? We need your help!

Update: The project now has a website –

If you do West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance or have a freezer full of old field-collected WNV samples, we need your help.

Kristian Andersen, Ryan Smith, and myself (plus others) are organizing a large WNV phylogenetics study – spanning the entire US – to answer some fundamental questions about WNV ecology/epidemiology.

1) How long do WNV lineages persist locally?
2) Are WNV outbreaks caused by newly introduced viruses?
3) How much/far does WNV spread regionally/nationally?

To do this, we helped to create WNV Nextstrain (, an interactive online tool to visualize WNV spread using genomics:

Now, we are trying to fill in many of the ‘gaps’ that we have with regards to WNV genome sampling in the US, which are depicted by the small circle sizes in the right panel (circle size = number of genomes/state). So, essentially we are under-sampled everywhere except CT, NY, CA, and TX.

If you have WNV samples, especially from the past few years, and are interested in learning more about our project, please send us an email (listed below). If you have samples that you’d like to share, please include the following in your email:
– locations of sample collection (state and county)
– years in which you have WNV+ samples
– the number of samples that you could provide

We view this as setting up partnerships, and not as sample stealing. We will share the data as soon as it is generated so that folks can use their data however they like – we just want to use the data for a large study looking at the entire US. All involved will be treated as collaborators and included as co-authors.


Nate, Kristian, and Ryan

If you are interested in collaborating, or have any questions, please email Nate:
[email protected]

(and please CC [email protected])


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